And now, we finally present our video of DER ERLKÖNIG:
“Der Erlkönig” tells a harrowing tale of pursuit and possession by an ineluctable force (Death). In creating this video, we wanted to pay tribute not only to the overwhelming intensity of Schubert’s song and Goethe’s text, but also to our unique setting: the historic Steinway Factory in NYC.
The Steinway Factory is a place that seems almost suspended in time. During the working day, it’s abuzz with activity, but once the sun goes down, one can imagine ghosts flitting through the abandoned, cavernous spaces. In certain areas of the Factory, the pianos themselves—in various states of construction (or deconstruction)—loomed skeletal and monster-like. With a haunting, spellbinding setting like this at our disposal, how could we not be inspired?! (Our deepest gratitude goes to all the generous, supportive people at Steinway...THANK YOU!)
We teamed up with the brilliant young filmmaker Matthew Brown and his superb cinematographer Nathan Miller to create this short film of us pianists being consumed by the utterly inescapable power of the demonic piano. The preparation, conception, and four-day shoot for the video demanded loads of physical energy, mental focus, adaptability, persistence, gumption, and humor. Here are some snapshots of the process:
The props and provisions, splayed on the floor of Greg's apartment:
Nate and Matt, stuffed into my car with the aforementioned items, en route to the Factory:
Greg and Matt colored way outside the lines:
Greg on the verge of "levitating":
Wheeeee! Into the piano I go:
I carry many memories from this experience, not limited to but including the following: shopping at Lowe's with Greg for random props (which confused the salespeople: "Is this for a new door?" Us: "Uhhhh, not exactly..."); waking up super early, grabbing bagels and coffee, and braving the congested commute from Manhattan to Queens every morning; spending 12+ hour days at the Factory; taking a breather by the huge windows of the Factory's non-airconditioned fourth floor in order to catch an errant breeze during the sweltering summer days; thrusting myself backwards off the bench, and trying to do so with conviction and flair!; rolling around the dusty floors of the Factory for hours; switching aesthetic gears (i.e. turning off "crazy mode") for an album-related photo shoot scheduled on the first day of filming; immersing ourselves in arts-and-crafts for the "special effects"; dissolving into loopy laughter and throwing caution to the wind at every turn.
Who rides, so late, through night and wind?